Friday, March 14, 2008

Inside the Head of the Headhunter - Steve Delaney of SJ Delaney Recruiting

I’m running a series each Friday, featuring a top recruiter, to get inside their heads. The purpose is to give readers inside information about the job market from the people on the front line. I will interview outside recruiters and inside recruiters about trends, what they look for, and how they view candidates.

My first guest in this series is Steve Delaney of SJ Delaney Recruiting. Steve works with candidates, independent recruiters, consultants, coaches, trainers, employees, outsourcers and Fortune 500 employers involved with improving IT workforce strategy and development. As the employment market continues to change – Steve works with people who are taking it to the next level.

reCareered: Steve, thanks for joining us today to get inside your head.

Steve: Glad to help…hope you don’t find anything too scary in there.

reCareered: Steve, what is the biggest problem candidates have these days?

Steve: Folks are still using the old stuff that might have been true 8 years ago. Not just the technology, but candidates are ignoring how the process has changed, and changes in how corporations look for candidates.

reCareered: You asked on LinkedIN Answers recently, “What is Overqualified” … What are you seeing?

Steve: What I’m seeing from the corporate side, consistently, that companies are concerned that if they hire a candidate who is willing to take a cut in pay because they’ve been unemployed for a while, will the employee be happy? Will it be a win-win situation?

What companies do is to look at the candidate and see that this candidate is worth more than they have budgeted for the position. The client wonders why someone would work for less than he/she was worth.

There is a big concern by corporations that the employee will be unhappy, and either retire on the job or move on quickly. Of course not every employee acts this way, but if an employer has a good choice between candidates, they will often avoid this risk.

reCareered: Do you feel that there is a bias towards younger workers in corporate HR pre-screening processes?

Steve: No, but HR pre-screening might incorrectly assume that a younger person will work harder, and can be better manipulated by management. HR might interpret a more experienced employee would “know the tricks”, work smarter and might not be a fit in an overtime hour environment.

reCareered: So what advice can you give to more experienced workers who are seeking reverse career moves for quality of life, or because they’ve been on the market for a while?

Steve: Older job changers can convey willingness and openness to learning, to have a better chance in securing a position with a younger boss. There are opportunities for older candidates to show that they are still active, still engaged in advancing their skills, so the hiring manager will see potential and take notice of people who are sharp, making age a non-issue. Hiring managers are ALWAYS looking for people who are sharp.

Steve, thanks for your insight today. If job seekers are looking for a solid IT recruiter, email your resume to Steve Delaney at

About Steve Delaney: With over 20 years of military and contract IT consulting experience Steve Delaney knows that no matter what your career goals are, you have to master the art of Branding to be competitive in today’s complex employment market. The ability to attract interested employers, to interview well, and close the deal is as important as any trade you’ve been called to master.

Four years ago Steve decided to leverage the skills he instinctively mastered, to help IT professionals improve their performance in the challenging global employment marketplace. As a Web 2.0 recruiter, Steve combines forces with recruiters, HR and workforce management experts, account managers, career coaches, resume writers, employment analysts to make sensible changes in career strategy that will bring you in from the sideline and keep you in the game.

About reCareered: Of course, if you’d like a free 30 minute resume consultation or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

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